Although many dogs make great pets and companions, these animals can still be dangerous and cause serious injuries. Sometimes, a dog attack leads to serious physical harm requiring medical intervention. In these situations, the injured party may have the right to pursue civil compensation for their damages, depending on the circumstances leading up to the attack.
Guidance from a Hamilton County dog bite lawyer could be essential to effectively protect your rights in the wake of a severe injury caused by someone else’s pet. Once retained, an experienced personal injury attorney could ensure you understand every option available to you, help construct the strongest possible case, and tirelessly pursue fair financial recovery on your behalf.
According to Tennessee Code §44-8-413, dog owners in Hamilton County have a legally enforceable duty to keep their pets under “reasonable control” and ensure the animal does not roam freely outside the owner’s private property. A dog owner who fails to fulfill this duty may bear civil liability for any injuries that dog causes while it is “running at large.” This is true regardless of whether the dog in question has bitten or attacked anyone before.
Importantly, this section of state law outlines the following situations as exceptions to the aforementioned duty:
If a dog bite occurs on private property owned and/or lawfully occupied by the dog’s owner, the injured person must prove the dog’s owner knew their pet had a proclivity for aggressive behavior and nevertheless refused to appropriately restrain the dog. A dog attack attorney well-versed in the local laws could further explain these legal nuances and how they may affect a particular case.
Dog owners found liable for another person’s injuries may be held responsible for all ensuing economic and non-economic losses stemming from the attack. Both past and future damages may be compensable in a case like this, including:
Importantly, the same one-year statutory filing deadline set by TN Code §28-3-104 for other personal injury cases also applies to claims based on dog bites. As such, it is crucial for dog bite victims to contact a skilled lawyer in Hamilton County quickly after discovering their injuries to preserve their right to seek financial restitution.
Dog attacks cause numerous injuries to Tennessee residents each year, many of whom continue to deal with physical and emotional scars long into the future. If you were injured because a dog owner did not restrain their pet as required by law, you may have grounds to hold them financially accountable for your losses.
Support from a Hamilton County dog bite lawyer could make all the difference in your chances of securing a positive case outcome. Call Yates & Wheland today to schedule a consultation.